Watch: Extension of LA Metro L Line (Gold) to Pomona reaches halfway point

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
image description

The project to extend the L Line (Gold) from its current terminus in Azusa to Pomona is now 50 percent complete.

The project will add four new stations — Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne and Pomona.

The Pomona station is being built next to the Pomona North Metrolink Station, so riders will enjoy an easy transfer between the L Line and Metrolink’s San Bernardino County Line. That will offer a long-sought rail connection between the western San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire cities — as well as downtown L.A. and the rest of the Metro bus and rail system.

The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority — the agency building the project — held a celebration in San Dimas featuring many local officials. When complete, the project will be handed over to Metro.

Officials gathered in San Dimas for the celebration. Photo: Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority.

The Construction Authority released a statement about the milestone:

“The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) held a press conference to celebrate the 9.1-mile, four-station Foothill Gold Line light rail project from Glendora to Pomona reaching 50% construction completion. The celebration took place at Rhoads Park in San Dimas, Calif., just steps away from the project corridor and one of four new light rail bridges being constructed to carry future light rail trains and passengers over major streets. Construction on the project began in July 2020 and, despite building in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to remain on schedule to be completed in early 2025, when it will be turned over to LA Metro for training and pre-revenue service (Metro determines when passenger service starts).

“’It is a great achievement for our team, our contractor and the entire County of Los Angeles to have been able to keep this important regional infrastructure project on schedule during the first years of the Pandemic,’ stated Foothill Gold Line Board Chairman and Claremont Mayor Pro Tem Ed Reece. ‘We are now just a few short years away from delivering light rail to more of the San Gabriel Valley and one step closer to completing our agency mission of connecting Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire by light rail.’

“To reach the halfway milestone, the design-build team of Kiewit-Parsons, a Joint Venture (KPJV), with over 350 staff and crew members, have to date expended nearly 1.1 million work hours designing and constructing the various elements that make up the light rail project. Here is a highlight of the work completed or underway so far:

  • Project Design: 100% Complete
  • Relocation of Freight Track Within Shared Corridor to Make Room for New Light Rail Tracks:98% Complete
  • Reconstruction of 21 At-Grade Crossings: 91% Complete
  • Construction of 19 New or Renovated Bridges: 39% Complete Overall
    • Freight Bridges: 97% Complete
    • Light Rail Bridges: 31% Complete
  • Installation of New Light Rail Tracks: 43% Complete
  • Construction of Light Rail Electric Power System: 23% Complete
  • Construction of Four New Light Rail Stations: 13% Complete

“’I want to thank the staff at the Construction Authority, KPJV, and the corridor cities for their dedication and hard work these last three years that ensured the project reached this important milestone on time and on budget,’ stated Construction Authority CEO, Habib F. Balian. ‘We still have a lot of work to complete, but I am confident that we will be successful in delivering a great project that will make our County and City partners proud.’

“[The] historic event was attended by elected officials at all levels of government, the Foothill Gold Line Board of Directors, LA Metro Board of Directors, transportation officials – including Foothill Gold Line CEO, Habib F. Balian and Metro CEO, Stephanie Wiggins – and San Gabriel Valley stakeholders. The notable list of speakers included U.S. Representative, Grace Napolitano; U.S. Representative, Judy Chu; California State Senator, Anthony Portantino; California State Assembly Members, Chris Holden and Freddie Rodriguez; Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis; Metro Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger; Metro Board Member, Foothill Gold Line Board Member and Pomona Mayor, Tim Sandoval; Foothill Gold Line Board Chair and Claremont Mayor Pro Tem, Ed Reece; and Metro Board Member, Metrolink Board Chair and Glendale Council Member, Ara Najarian. Mayors and council members from the Foothill Gold Line cities also attended. The event concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony.

“’This project was the first to break ground under Measure M, and reaching the 50% mark for this project demonstrates that we are serious about delivering on the promise made to voters,’ said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. ‘As the Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, I am ecstatic that the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority and KPJV are bringing this project to fruition for the San Gabriel Valley.’

“The Foothill Gold Line was the first Measure M-funded light rail project to break ground and is named one of Metro’s 28 priority projects to be completed before the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. It is being funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure M, along with residual funds from Measure R not used to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment; as well as State of California greenhouse gas reduction funds.

“’Metro aims to be the first choice for transportation for the people of LA County,’ said Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of Metro. ‘Reaching this 50% milestone is moving us closer to that goal by expanding our system and fully connecting the San Gabriel Valley to key county destinations. Thank you to the Metro Board, and all the leaders in the corridor cities that have pushed this project forward; and thank you to all the workers who have helped get us to this point. Most of all, thank you to the voters who supported Measure M and Measure R, without whom none of this would have been possible.’ 

Benefits and Economic Impact of the Foothill Gold Line

“When completed, the light rail project will add new stations to the Metro Gold Line system (currently referred to as the L Line) in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne and Pomona – and increase ridership on the Metro system by an estimated 11,600 daily weekday boardings when the extension opens for passenger service. It will provide connections to important regional destinations like the LA County Fairplex, colleges and universities, historic downtowns, museums, regional parks and open space areas, and much more. In addition, the extension will provide a direct link between the Metro and Metrolink systems in Pomona, allowing riders from each system to easily transfer – creating endless possibilities for connections throughout the region. The Construction Authority is currently seeking additional funding to complete the project to Claremont and Montclair, which would add an additional nearly 8,000 daily weekday boardings to the Metro system when completed.

“It is estimated that during construction, the project from Glendora to Montclair will create as many as 17,000 jobs and up to $2.6 billion in economic output for the region, as well as up to $1 billion in labor income and potentially $40 million in tax revenue (according to an economic study by Beacon Economics).

“The Foothill Gold Line continues to be a catalyst for transit-oriented development projects, having spurred more than $13 billion of private investment in residential and commercial developments within a half-mile of a current or future station – with more already planned or underway within a half-mile of the stations from Arcadia to Montclair.”

Read more articles about passenger rail.

For brief news updates and commentary, please follow me on Twitter @davidclesterRTS

Tags: , , , , , , ,